My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

The Gothic subculture is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, and looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Tim Burton, Siouxsie Sioux and Anne Rice et al.) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. Goth should not be limited by what is considered "goth", inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Spirit Day 2013

It's that time of the year again - no, not Halloween (that's not for another 12 days!), but Spirit Day.

Spirit Day was started in 2010 by a Canadian teenager, Brittany McMillan, in response a spate of suicides related to people being bullied over being LGBTQ. Spirit Day is a day to show solidarity, by wearing purple, with people who are bullied, especially those who are bullied for being, or being assumed to be, LGBTQ. For those who don't know what LGBTQ stand for, it means 'Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer' and encompasses a variety of sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions. 

Of course, bullying anyone for ANY reason is wrong in so many, many ways. As I said last year at ::this post::, as a teenager I was bullied, and one of the things the other girls picked up on to bully me over was their assumption of me being a lesbian because I did not adhere to traditional 'teenage girl' behaviour (and still don't!). This had a negative impact on my own discovery of my sexual orientation. As such, Spirit Day is certainly a cause that is close to my heart. 

As I did last year, I will not preach about the evils of bullying - that's like pointing out that wars are violent or that murder is bad; it is pretty much stating something that should be obvious to anyone with any morality. 

Do your best to help those who are hurting, listen to them, give them a safe space to vent and release. Stand up against those who use hurtful words, point out that it is wrong and unacceptable to bully people and make assumptions.  Look out for people in your life who might be suffering and be there for them. 

if you yourself are bullied, first of all find someone to talk to, someone who will listen. I know, both from experience and from countless personal accounts that educational establishments often don't do enough. I also know that some parents are hardly sympathetic, especially when it comes to their children being LGBTQ. Remember that your parents and school staff aren't the only people in the world - talk to a friend, a relative, or even an internet friend. When it comes to looking for help on the internet, I do stress being careful on the internet, as there are people who take advantage, and sadly I have to note that the proliferation of internet attention seekers crying wolf does mean that more public pleas for help and rants/venting are often met with derision, suspicion and a lack of sympathy. Don't keep it to yourself, that only makes it worse. Do try and sort things via the proper channels, and do try and explain to your parents if at all possible. In the UK there are advice and listening telephone numbers, with people at the other end to help. 

If you are in immediate physical danger, defend yourself (within the law, obviously). 

Purple is my favourite colour, so it isn't too hard for me to find something purple in my almost all-black wardrobe. I suggest you do something, even if it's just some purple ribbon, or a purple tie, just do something to show your solidarity. 


Links
::Spirit Day at GLAAD:: - the official website for Spirit Day.
::Samaritans::, for the despairing and suicidal - they have a letter, telephone and e-mail service.
::ChildLine:: helpline for children facing a variety of issues, including bullying. 
::Lesbian & Gay Switchboard:: UK advice for LGBT people.

2 comments:

  1. I found out about this too late to do it, but I was sick at home that day, anyway. I did it a few years ago, but then I didn't actually own anything purple again until this year!
    I agree very strongly with the message!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have purple hair, which is always helpful for these sorts of things, but that particular day I wore a purple wig in a longer, fancier style, and fancy purple make-up, and purple tights.

      Delete

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